The power of vacation: Canadians missing out on health and happiness

Taking time away from the job can have physical and mental health benefits. Vacations lead to increased productivity, improved health, and enhanced relationships. They also provide an opportunity to rest and promote a healthy work-life balance.

Canadians not using all their vacation time

Expedia has released it’s 23rd annual “The 23rd Annual Expedia Vacation Deprivation Report.”

It reports that nearly half of Canadians did not use all their vacation days in 2022. Sixty-two per cent of working adults in Canada felt vacation deprived, making it the highest in 10 years. Respondents in BC and Ontario reported the highest levels of vacation deprivation. Ironically, 90% of Canadians considered regular vacations a basic right.

45% of Canadian respondents reported leaving vacation days on the table in 2022. Participants from BC took the most days off on average in 2022, at 30 days, while Albertans said taking only seven days off in 2022. The report highlighted that companies offering unlimited vacation time saw employees taking more time off and experiencing lower vacation deprivation.

Economy and talent shortage impacting vacations.

Three out of four Canadians reported that stress from the economy was a significant factor contributing to the desire for vacations. The top three reasons were rounded it with restrictive work schedules and workplace staffing issues along with busy personal lives that made it difficult to get away.

Globally, staff and labour shortages were common challenges that limited employees' ability to take vacation. 56% of survey respondents worldwide said that their workplace or industry is battling staffing shortages, making it difficult to get away. Canada was one of the most impacted countries by this new reality at 51% compared to Europe and APAC.

The good news for hiring managers is around 64% of Canadians said they would consider changing jobs if it would give them an opportunity for more vacation time.

The study also revealed differences in vacation usage and perceptions across different industries. Younger generations expressed higher levels of vacation deprivation compared to older generations with Baby Boomers feeling the least deprived at 43% which may be due to their increased focus on retirement and moving out of the workforce.

Recognizing we all need to take more vacation to stave off burnout, improve our mental and physical health and stay engaged at work, another study predicted where we might be vacationing.

What will be the popular vacation destinations in 2030 and why?

With evolving visitor demand, sustainable tourism growth, enabling technologies, and travel mobility shaping the future of tourism, we can expect to see changes in the destinations popular for vacation in 2030. Here are some possible predictions:

Sustainable Destinations: With sustainable tourism growth becoming a megatrend in the tourism industry, destinations prioritizing environmental and social sustainability will likely become more popular. Travellers seek destinations supporting responsible tourism practices, protecting natural resources, and promoting local culture and traditions.

In 2030, we can expect more travellers to visit destinations that have implemented sustainable tourism practices. For example, destinations that have adopted eco-friendly policies and procedures, such as using renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and conserving natural resources, are likely to become more popular.

Niche Destinations: As evolving visitor demand drives a growing interest in niche tourism experiences, we expect to see more travellers seeking out destinations offering unique and specialized experiences. For example, culinary tourism, adventure tourism, and cultural tourism are all growing trends likely to continue gaining popularity in 2030.

Destinations that offer niche experiences are likely to become more popular among travellers who want to immerse themselves in local cultures, learn new skills, and connect with people who share their interests.

Emerging Destinations: As travel mobility improves, emerging destinations that were once difficult to access will likely become more popular. In 2030, we can expect to see more travellers visiting destinations that were once considered off-the-beaten-path.

Emerging destinations, such as those in Africa, Asia, and South America, will likely increase tourism as travel becomes more accessible and affordable. These destinations offer unique cultural experiences, stunning natural landscapes, and opportunities for adventure and exploration.

Digital Destinations: With enabling technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and blockchain transforming how we travel, we can expect to see more travellers visiting digital destinations in 2030. Digital destinations offer immersive experiences that allow travellers to explore new places, learn about local cultures, and connect with people worldwide.

For example, virtual reality tours of historical sites and museums can provide an immersive experience that feels almost like being there in person. Similarly, blockchain-based platforms that enable travellers to book accommodations, activities, and experiences can offer a seamless and secure travel experience.

So what does all this mean?

The World Economic Forum and Euromonitor International’s Megatrends Shaping the Future of Travel report predict China will likely dethrone the European nation to become the world’s top tourist destination by 2030.

The report estimates there will be 127 million arrivals in China each year by the end of the next decade, compared to 126 million in France and 116 million in the US. Spain, Thailand, Italy, Hong Kong SAR, Turkey, Mexico, and the United Kingdom respectively round out the top ten.


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